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Woman charged after falsely telling Brookside shoppers she had COVID-19

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A woman is facing terroristic threatening charges after she allegedly caused a panic by walking into a store and falsely claiming she was infected with COVID-19, police said.

The incident happened April 3 in Brookside Shopping Center on Marrows Road, according to Master Cpl. Michel Eckerd, a spokesman for the New Castle County Police Department. Officers were called there for a report of a woman screaming and using profanity inside one of the stores.

“Witnesses reported that the female was also telling everyone she had tested positive for COVID-19 and she did not care who she infected,” Eckerd said. “They also reported that people fled the store trying to avoid the female.”

Officers arrested the woman, 54-year-old Kelley Hines, and took her to a hospital to be tested for COVID-19. After she was medically cleared, she was booked on charges of felony terroristic threatening, misdemeanor terroristic threatening and disorderly conduct.

She was released on $5,200 unsecured bail.

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